Binghamton University ranked eighth for “Best Value College”

Binghamton University remains in the top 10 in the Princeton Review’s list of “Best Value Colleges for 2013,” despite dropping four spots from last year.

This marks the fifth straight year that the University has made the top 10. Binghamton University fell four spots from No. 4 in 2012 to No. 8 in 2013, but still outranked other large state schools such as the University of Michigan, which placed at No. 9.

The ranking, which compared 75 different public universities from across the nation, takes into account more than 30 data points, which include academics, cost and financial aid, according to the Princeton Review website.

The list also takes into account the quality of students the schools attract as measured by admissions credentials such as average SAT and ACT score ranges and average high school GPA of enrolled freshmen, as well as how students attending the schools rated their academic experiences and their professors on the student opinion surveys, according to a Princeton Review press release.

The Princeton Review used information taken from institutional and student opinion surveys they conducted from fall 2011 through fall 2012 to create the ranking.

University spokesperson Ryan Yarosh wrote in an email that the ranking validates Binghamton’s efforts to be an exceptional university. He added that Binghamton only has plans to improve.

“Throughout our current Road Map strategic planning process, a dedicated, diverse group of people have shared a commitment to make Binghamton University even better,” Yarosh wrote. “We will continue striving to improve our reputation as a best value and also to set Binghamton on the path to becoming the premier public university of the 21st century.”

For some students, university rankings played a role in the college search process.

Thomas Mitchell, a junior majoring in financial engineering who started out as an out-of-state student from Maine, said that both the affordability of Binghamton University and the high national ranking of the School of Management made it an easy choice for him to attend.

“The value is definitely a reason for why I chose Binghamton,” Mitchell said. “Even not knowing that my parents would eventually move here and I would get in-state tuition, as an out-of-state student it was still cheaper for me than every other school I was looking at, both public and private.”

Zachary Pehel, a freshman majoring in financial economics, agreed.

“Honestly, I came here because I couldn’t afford most of the private universities I applied to,” he said. “I could practically pay for three years of college here with the money that I would spend on a single year there. Still, [Binghamton is] an amazing university, and I have no regrets about my decision.”

Mitchell, now considered an in-state student because his parents moved to New York during his sophomore year, is also a resident assistant.

“Now it’s basically free school,” he said. “I just go to class and hardly pay a thing.”

Mitchell praised BU’s low price tag, explaining that he has friends from out of state who can attend Binghamton and pay less than they would for their home-state schools.

He brushed off the University’s slight drop in the rankings as meaningless.

“Is there really a quantifiable difference between the fifth place and sixth place colleges in the nation?” Mitchell said. “At a certain point, it’s just a good value.”